14 x 12.5 in    35.5 x 31.2 cm
Egg Tempera on Wood, Silver-gilt and Engraved Frame and Halo
late 17th - early 18th century
State Hermitage Museum - St. Petersburg

Ikons of the Mandylion depict a veil imprinted with the face of Christ which was sent by the Savior to King Agbar of the city of Edessa.  In a sense it is the first 'ikon'.  This veil was proudly preserved in Edessa as a talisman to protect the city from its enemies for centuries afterwards.

In the 10th century the Veil was transferred to the city of Constantinople by the Byzantine Emperor, Constantine Porphyrogentius.  Huge throngs greeted the arrival of the veil in the City and they escorted the veil through the streets of the City to the Imperial Chapel of St. Stephen within the enclosure of the Sacred Palace above the Bosphorus.

In 1204 the veil was looted from the Palace Chapel by the Crusaders of the Fourth Crusade in their sack and burning of Constantinople.  Its precise wereabouts are now unknown, however it is possible it was preserved.  The Holy Shroud is not the veil - which has been supposed by some.

Many ikons of the Mandylion have an Angel on either side of the veil holding it up in their hands.  This ikon is noteworthy for the bright orange color of the veil, which is most often painted white.

This ikon was painted in the style of Simon Ushakov.

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